The first steel has been cut for the construction of Hurtigruten’s new Explorer Class ship, Roald Amundsen, at the Kleven shipyard in Norway.
Hurtigruten’s CEO, Daniel Skjeldam helped perform the steel cutting ceremony at the shipyard for the first of two ships due for delivery in Summer 2018. The sister ship, Fridtjof Nansen, is scheduled for delivery in 2019. There is also an option for two more ships of this class to be built.
The ships, which are designed by Rolls Royce, are a “new class of specially constructed exploration ships for voyages in polar waters” and will measure 20,000grt, accomodate 530 passengers in 265 cabins and be powered by a hybrid power which combines traditional engine and propulsion with a battery system of propulsion which can see the ship sail on 30 minutes of battery-powered propulsion. The Explorer class ships will be the first cruise ships in the world to utilise this form of power.
Named after two of the most famous Norwegian Polar Pioneers, the two ships will be at the cutting edge of technology and sustainable power. In a statement released last year, CEO Daniel Skjeldam said of the new technology;
“These ground-breaking expedition ships will revolutionise adventure travel at sea. We are combining Hurtigruten’s more than 120-years know-how with cutting-edge technology and design, and a strong commitment to sustainability, to offer the modern-day adventure traveller an unprecedented experience.”
According to Hurtigruten, the new power system will allow fully electric propulsion as an option for short periods of time. The new battery technology will lead to a reduction on CO2 emissions from the the ships (which in total, the two ships will see a reduction of 6400 metric tons of CO2 per year compared to that of normal powered ships, which is the equivalent of yearly emissions created by 5540 cars) and will also lead to a 20% reduction on fuel consumption.
When Roald Amundsen enters service in July 2018, she will be the 15th ship in the Hurtigruten fleet and the addition of her sister, Fridtjof Nansen, in 2019 will see the fleet number rise to 16.
Sources: Cruise Industry News, Hurtigruten.
Feature Image: Hurtigruten.